Ravens replacing artificial turf with grass next season

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The Ravens saw players get injured at an alarming rate this year on their home turf. And while they say that’s not the reason, they’re switching to grass anyway.

Via Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, Ravens president Dick Cass said the team is getting rid of the artificial stuff they’ve played on for 13 years at M&T Bank Stadium in favor of a natural surface.

We want to try and see if we can have a good grass field at M&T Bank Stadium,” Cass said, aiming high. “We knew we were going to replace our current field at the end of the season in any event. For a long time, we just assumed that we would go with artificial. We’ve been very happy with this field.

“But our players really much prefer to play on natural grass. We talked to the players about it. We had a meeting about it maybe three months ago now. I think the coaches prefer it to be on natural grass. I think our fans will prefer it because Baltimore is sort of an old school football town and natural grass is more consistent with the way that we view that we play football.”

Of course, this year, they’re playing it without quarterback Joe Flacco (ACL), running back Justin Forsett (broken arm) and wide receiver Steve Smith (torn Achilles), who all suffered season ending injuries at home. But Cass said that wasn’t the impetus for the switch.

“I don’t think the injuries we’ve experienced this year or in prior years are related to the type of [surface],” he said. “But if you look at studies that have been done around the league, I do think that you’d find that there are more lower body extremity injuries on artificial surface than there is on a grass field.

“But the primary factor was our players really wanted to play on grass and we think that playing on grass is just more consistent with the way football should be played in Baltimore.”

The Ravens played on grass from 1998 until 2002, when a first turf field was installed. They replaced that with another artificial surface in 2010.

Players will certainly be all for it, as long as the grass grows properly.

24 responses to “Ravens replacing artificial turf with grass next season

  1. M&T Bank Stadium is less than 35 miles from FedEx Field. If they can grow grass for their field in Baltimore it is only going to raise the pressure to do something about the field in Landover.

  2. In spite of Florio constantly advocating artificial turf, natural grass is always the preferred choice of those that matter most, the actual players! Props to the Ravens!!

  3. It is interesting how there’s been a marked increase in injuries below the hip on fields with artificial turf. Maybe it allows too MUCH traction so the leg doesn’t move enough when the circumstance would need it to avoid injury?

  4. Thursday’s renewal of the issue showed an erosion of support for the proposal in the Republican-run chamber.
    ——————————
    The Ravens rarely get a playoff game at home anyway, so would it matter? It’s usually the tough road route for Baltimore in the playoffs.

  5. The field is below sea level. It’s very hard to grow grass there. and hard to drain water away from the field when it’s below sea level. The Orioles stadium right next door is surprising much higher above sea level. They were able to actually dig down in Camden yards so the field is actually lower than the street around it. They were planning on doing that with the Ravens stadium but when they were building it they realized the sea level was much higher there.

    Not saying grass can’t work but it will be difficult.

  6. AWESOME NEWS!! Reminds me of when Ray came out and grabbed the grass to get the party started down at M&T.

  7. kamthechancellor says:
    Dec 4, 2015 11:43 AM
    So they can have painted green asphalt come playoff time like the Redskins?
    _____________

    Rare to see “Playoff time” and “Redskins” used in the same sentence. Very clever.

  8. bengalguy says: Dec 4, 2015 11:41 AM

    Why dont they just play on a landfill?…..considering the franchise is hot garbage anyway.

    =========================
    Raven’s have been to 5 afc championship games and won 2 superbowls since the last time your sad franchise won a single playoff game. So who’s the hot garbage?

  9. Love the support for natural surface here – football needs to be on grass and mud, and it’s safer. I had to laugh that in their dislike of London games, One of the arguments the media pushed (including PFT) against Wembley (probably the best tended pitch of grass in the World) was that the grass was slippy and causes more injuries (the reality was just improper cleats). Next year a game will be at Twickenham, the top rated rugby field in the World, and part of me thinks this is a deliberate move by the league to counter one of the naysayers’ arguments that Wembley is a “soccer grass” (in reality rugby league finals are often played at Wembley anyway, and both stadiums now have state-of-the-art heated and drainaged “Desso” pitches – that’s real grass but entwined with artificial fibres, to help maintain consistent quality and attributes, and increase the durability). There’s arguments against London, but at least they know what a perfect sports field should be and don’t cut any corners.

  10. This fan of football would be happy to see anything that would cut down on injuries. The epidemic of knee, foot and ankle injuries should be examined to find if there is a link to the field turf. Besides I miss the muddy uniforms.

  11. abninf says: Dec 4, 2015 12:01 PM

    Football should be played outdoors in the elements on real grass.
    _______________________

    Unless it negatively affects Peyton Manning in the playoffs, then the NFL makes Peyton’s rivals rip up the grass and install artificial turf

  12. I’m no Ravens fan but I support this move. The game was meant to be played on grass and it’s a fact it’s safer. Most teams go with the artificial surfaces because it’s much cheaper than maintaining a natural surface
    I wish all teams played on grass fields, its how football was meant to be played.

  13. ravens2014 says:
    Dec 4, 2015 11:59 AM
    The field is below sea level. It’s very hard to grow grass there. and hard to drain water away from the field when it’s below sea level. The Orioles stadium right next door is surprising much higher above sea level.

    Not sure about that statement. Maybe the water basin is higher at M&T vs OPACY since it is closer to the water. But the two stadiums are pretty level. When you walk down Ravens Walk, you aren’t walking downhill…

  14. Hate the Ravens. Respect the decision. Kraft needs to do this. Hopefully, more teams will swing back to real grass.

  15. Heinz Field has grass and as we all know, the Ravens have crushed the Steelers there. Especially in the playoffs. LOL.

  16. ravens2014 says:
    Dec 4, 2015 11:59 AM

    The field is below sea level. It’s very hard to grow grass there. and hard to drain water away from the field when it’s below sea level. The Orioles stadium right next door is surprising much higher above sea level. They were able to actually dig down in Camden yards so the field is actually lower than the street around it. They were planning on doing that with the Ravens stadium but when they were building it they realized the sea level was much higher there.

    Not saying grass can’t work but it will be difficult.

    ~~~~~

    Heinz field is pretty close to the Allegheny River. It does OK. AT&T park, while baseball, is Kentucky Bluegrass and its right on the San Francisco Bay. I think they’ll figure out how to make it work in M&T bank stadium.

  17. TebowedOutOfThePostSeasonAndNeverToReturn | Dec 4, 2015, 2:56 PM EST
    Heinz Field has grass and as we all know, the Ravens have crushed the Steelers there. Especially in the playoffs. LOL.
    =======
    Wow, your troll life really revolves around the Steelers, huh? The Steelers run your life! Which team is really superior, the Ratbirds or the team that dominates your every thought? How sad for you. Hate is a beautiful thing.

  18. Oh how funny it is to see the Steelers dominate the life of a Ratbird troll like Tebowed…

    A sad troll existence.

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